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Poll: The Future Of The Totm


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Poll: TOTM's future (50 member(s) have cast votes)

My participation in the Tune of the Month:

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#55 Tootler

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 05:08 PM

Something else I forgot to say. I play anglo and I'm mostly a melody player (but not ITM). I appreciate the ability of the concertina to play harmony but I started as a wind player so tend to think first of melody and I think it's a pity that melody players do not contribute more as playing a melody well is a skill in its own right and should be encouraged.



#56 Pete Dunk

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 05:16 PM

Maybe I have used improper words - my post wasn't intended to imply any bad intentions on your side, I was trying only to point out, that there will always be some bias caused by personal views of the person who's behind TOTM. Nothing more. I'm sorry, tha you felt it as a personal attack.

 

 

I think it very important here that we don't loose sight of the fact that were honoured to be joined on this forum by a number of members for whom English is a second or even third language so nit-picking terminology is very unfair. I'm blown away by all of the contributions made on this forum by concertina players from all parts of the world, let's be nice and keep it that way!



#57 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 07:15 PM

When Jim first came up with the idea for TOTM on C.net, similar to Mel.net's TOTM, my reaction was 'what a fabulous idea'. Here is an opportunity to learn new tunes, record them and upload them, via Soundcloud and let other concertina players (and myself!) hear the results. Prior to TOTM, I'd never recorded myself playing, except on a cheap cassette recorder. I worked out how to record myself using a basic mic and Audacity recording software, which is free, and then upload the resulting recording to Soundcloud, posting a link to C.net. All in all, a new and uplifting experience for me, especially listening to other contributors' recordings. Some months, I haven't managed to contribute a recording, mostly because I lacked the time to learn a suitable tune for that month's offering but still intend to, especially a tune or two in 3/2!

 

As a mainly melody player of ETM, some French and some Scandi tunes, the majority of tunes suggested each month have appealed to me, so I have rarely been disappointed. In my opinion, melody only works best with a lot of these tunes as anything other than a very light accompaniment (duet players excepted!) can spoil a tune. There is quite a bit of scope for enhancing the melody in a tune, using a combination of one's own interpretation of the tune and various bellows and fingering techniques that TOTM is encouraging me to experiment with - so thank you Jim! Finally, I agree that it is nice to give and receive feedback on contributors' submissions. I don't feel qualified to pass comment on the finer points of someone's playing but like to applaud in some way, if I feel that the person has captured the feel/essence of the tune in some nice way.

 

Chris


Edited by Chris Drinkwater, 27 September 2014 - 07:18 PM.


#58 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 04:25 AM

Hi Chris,

I agree that playing just the melody well is quite a challenge and open to much improvement and style. I've learned to include this option for a first run through a slower song or dance tune myself (and appreciate any performance with just the melody lovely played too). OTOH I don't believe to spoil tunes with added harmony as you will imagine. I was sort of puzzled by your "exception" of Duet players. Obviously they will most likely want to include harmony or bass notes. But furthermore, do you experience less "spoiling" from this type of instrument? BTW, I wouldn't define what I'm aiming for as "playing the English like a Duet" (as Geoff has put it). Thus there might be a difference in fact. Do you mean it?

Best regards - Wolf

Edited by blue eyed sailor, 28 September 2014 - 04:27 AM.


#59 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 11:30 AM

Hi Wolf

My 'exception to duet players' is because that type of system is designed to enable tunes/pieces of music to be played with some form of accompaniment, like a piano. And there are some very skilled duet players out there whose playing is a delight to listen to. Others systems are not so designed, so trying to add bits of harmony, to e.g. a jig,  that sound good, can be difficult, from my own experience at trying to do so on the English. Where it can and does work effectively, on the English and Anglo, is for song accompaniment. With regard to your own playing, I have never thought that tunes you had added some form of accompaniment to, is your attempt at trying to make an English sound like a duet, as Geoff has opined. However, I have felt that sometimes you try to cram in too many notes, which clog up the playing and detract from the melody. That said, I realise that you are still experimenting and learning to see what works and doesn't work based on what the English is capable of, and what you are capable of with your fingering. I hope this helps your understanding of where I am coming from. Of course, there are a few rarified Anglo and English players, such as Jody, Brian Peters, John KP, Dave Townsend, Rob Harbron and our own Danny Chapman, who have the skill to manage to make playing tunes with an accompaniment work, and with such apparent ease and simplicity, in some cases.

 

Chris 



#60 Gerry

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 11:32 AM

Jim,
I think ip board does have a "like" feature. The ultimaker forum also looks like it uses ip board an definitely has it.

I really hope you continue totm. Although I have never contributed, I look in every few days and occasioally vote when I like a tune. I've only learned one tune from totm so far, Andy Cuttings "The Abbess", but like a few who have commented here, I play melody only. I do feel there is an expectation to play some form of accompaniment, which leaves me feeling intimidated about posting.

#61 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 12:02 PM

Hi Wolf

My 'exception to duet players' is because that type of system is designed to enable tunes/pieces of music to be played with some form of accompaniment, like a piano. And there are some very skilled duet players out there whose playing is a delight to listen to. Others systems are not so designed, so trying to add bits of harmony, to e.g. a jig,  that sound good, can be difficult, from my own experience at trying to do so on the English. Where it can and does work effectively, on the English and Anglo, is for song accompaniment. With regard to your own playing, I have never thought that tunes you had added some form of accompaniment to, is your attempt at trying to make an English sound like a duet, as Geoff has opined. However, I have felt that sometimes you try to cram in too many notes, which clog up the playing and detract from the melody. That said, I realise that you are still experimenting and learning to see what works and doesn't work based on what the English is capable of, and what you are capable of with your fingering. I hope this helps your understanding of where I am coming from. Of course, there are a few rarified Anglo and English players, such as Jody, Brian Peters, John KP, Dave Townsend, Rob Harbron and our own Danny Chapman, who have the skill to manage to make playing tunes with an accompaniment work, and with such apparent ease and simplicity, in some cases.

 

Chris 

 

Thanks a lot for your thorough reply Chris, I appreciate communicating like this!



#62 Jim Besser

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 10:27 AM

Some really useful, interesting replies in the last few days. I'm just catching up - have been off the grid - but thanks to all.



#63 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 06:26 PM

Hi Wolf

Thanks for your reply.

 

Chris



#64 RAc

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 11:50 AM

I just caught up with this thread and felt like making a remark about the feedback issue:

 

In terms of proficiency and musical ability, everyone of us is somewhere on a scale between complete beginner and veteran pro. I understand that my status currently would at max allow me to make helpful remarks about renditions which a) are so "below" my own current position that I can make improvement suggestions which I am absolutely certain to be helpful (for example obvious rhythmic errors; there aren't that many contris satisfying that criterion) or B) strike me in terms of taste and interpretation. When I see contributions by giants like Alan Day, David Barnert or Randy Stein, I couldn't even begin to consider comments aside from generic (and useless) "likes" because what happens up there concerns questions of subtelty that escape my ear. Except maybe (very rare) renditions that completly blow me off my feet and leave me with only a "wow" to whisper...

 

Not receiving a great deal of feedback myself, I've come to the conclusion that this means that the contri isn't either that bad that there are obvious errors to point out nor that good that it evokes the "wow" effect. Which in itself is a good thing to begin with...
 
I have in the past made a few suggestions of type a) via private messages with mixed results (where I define "result" as an indication whether the addressed individual considered that feedback helpful or nor), always fearing that I might either have discouraged that individual or presented myself as some kind of wanna be teacher. Funnily, *giving* feedback is a situation not unlike *waiting for feedback* with all its anxieties, at least for me. Maybe one way out (if technically possible) would be to make limited optional anonymous commenting possible (of course such a strategy would bear a bashing potential which however I don't foresee in this community).

 

As for the TOTM itself - I think it's great and I do follow it regularly, and I can see going back to contributing to it. The repertoire assembled in it is a true treasure box. Some of the tunes I studied towards it still are corner stones in my repertoire. Thanks!



#65 Pete Dunk

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 05:56 PM

Ruediger, I think you do yourself and many other players on the forum an injustice by feeling that your comments on Tune of the Month entries might be inappropriate because there are a few good players on the block so they take precedence!

 

Alan Day is a wondrous anglo player who can advise on musical interpretation and style for a given tune but he can't help me with the technical aspects of playing an English concertina because he doesn't play one. Alan doesn't read music either so if three versions of a tune are posted he won't be able to pass comment on them unless midi files are added too.

 

Dr. David Barnert is a formidable musician with a deep understanding of musical theory and an uncanny ability to transcribe a tune on the fly from a recording that is simply breathtaking. Any comments he made about musical style and interpretation I would listen to but he's so over my head in ability that I might not be able do as he suggests. David plays Hayden duet which once again isn't my system, I'm not sure if he has played English in the past but as far as I'm aware he probably won't understand my abiding fear of fifth jumps!

 

I know little of Randy Stein other than that he is an awesome player of the English concertina and a fluent master of his craft, more than capable of passing comments on TotM contributions but as far as I'm aware has limited himself to making contributions himself rather than commenting.

 

Good musicians (and there are many more thay haven't been named here) contribute to TotM and ThotM as and when it suits them. They would be horrified to discover that their mere presence was sufficient to drive other commentators away!

 

Chill and enjoy the tunes!

 

Edit: typos as always!


Edited by tallship, 09 November 2014 - 06:23 PM.


#66 Alan Day

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 06:44 PM

I rather like theme of the month and players submitting tunes way after the month is over.I am still thinking about a classical piece .

I do however think that Jim's suggestions are well thought out and any support that you can give him in recordings, or just writing in with a comment makes it not only worthwhile for Jim, but also those players who spend hours practising a piece of music ,send in a recording and get nothing back.

Nice posting Tootler and nice thoughts.

 

I posted this without seeing that there was another page of comments so I an quickly editing my posing to cover the points raised on this page.

 

Ruediger thank you for your compliment, but my friend Tallship is much more correct about me.When I started playing the concertina it was for Morris Music ,I knew that playing outside a pub it would be useless me trying to read music, so I decided then to play by ear.All my chords, rhythm,  is by ear ,the timing ,by watching the dancers.I am my worse enemy and I know that on many occasions I must be playing a wrong chord somewhere in the tune,but if it sounds OK to me, that is what I play.

It is possible however if you listen to concertina playing enough, that certain playing ,whatever the system being played, has faults

.Most players get to a standard by sheer hard work and listening to players trying to reach a higher level will not be criticised, but applauded, that is what my tutor is for, to help. So I do not consider myself a giant ,but it has added about an inch to my height.

Thanks :)

Al


Edited by Alan Day, 09 November 2014 - 07:07 PM.


#67 derekc

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 01:56 AM

apologies for this late comment - early November was a period of intense DIY so completely missed this thread. Like others, I have learnt many tunes from TOTM, but these tend only to be tunes I am interested in - in my case English/French. My observation is only when a English/French tune is chosen does the general level of interest increase (number of hits). My other observation is for a beginner one month is not long enough to learn a tune - e.g. I am still battling with that little run up and down in the last 2 bars of the first section of Abott's - time to leave this tune now and re-visit over the coming month's knowing it will eventually fall into place. 

 

The comments I have are;

 

1)  is it possible please for those who regularly submit a recording to use youtube - one of the great pieces of advice I have picked up over the many years is that you can learn a lot about playing an instrument by watching the musician. C.netters tend to use Soundcloud (though youtube is becoming more popular), whereas m.netters use youtube. Can understand the reasons why not to use youtube, but as a learning vehicle youtube works so much better than soundcloud. E.g. I would be very interested to observe the  RH fingering people use on an Anglo for Abotts.

 

2) do we need to have 4 tunes submitted every month, why not just a couple?

 

3) Even more radical - I know from correspondence with Jim, it is highly embarrassing to put forward a tune written by someone and it to be beaten by a trad one. A lot of work goes into seeking permission from the artist in order to use their tune - so could I put forward please, that for some months, if Jim has a cracking tune (and we know he has good taste :) ) we have an editor's choice month, where there is just the one tune. We do not vote on ThOTM so can't see this as an issue.



#68 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 05:47 AM

We can see TOTM in two different ways. : teaching/learning for beginners or exchange of different aesthetic views and playing about a tune for more « advanced » players. Both are interesting. But as Don Taylor said, perhaps we can separate in two topics which may allow beginners to feel more comfortable and less shy. A place to find help, advices and to show the progress. And the possibilty for other to post comments not only in the way of liking or not liking but more in a way of giving advices when it is a beginner attempt.


Hi Thomas,

I don't believe in a split-up as suggested. First difficulties for intermediate players may increase whether a certain person would be welcomed to bring her "aesthetic views" up for discussion, or for the forum public to suggest improvements in the "advanced" section. Second, it's the takes of the more advanced that might inspire and encourage the beginners as well... May an advanced player submit sort of a WIP? All in all, I think we should maintain them merging of all sorts within one virtual room...

Best wishes - Wolf




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